Artwork for Kingsbury 2018 - Jan

3/5

Kaema Sutra

Shangri-La Hotel, 1 Galle Face, Colombo 2


The new Kaema Sutra, moved from its previous premises in Arcade Independence to the plush Shangri La, still serves decent-ish food at high prices



At the new Kaema Sutra at the Shangri La hotel, valet parking and people treating you like a VIP comes with the package. But was the food worth the money?

The Ambience

Kaema Sutra's new premises incorporates a whole wall covered in devil masks, grinning, feral faces stare you down as you enjoy an expensive night out with friends, family or business associates. As frightening as this may sound, the effect is actually a nice one. 

The interior is also thoughtfully and plushly decorated in soft brown shades, and very comfortable, down to the swiveling chairs at the bar that somehow combine the efficiency of a barstool with the comfort of an armchair. Even the big screens behind the bar, tuned into a permanently frozen football match, a superhero action flick and an old cricket match respectively while we were there, somehow seemed to blend in well with the overall accent of the place.

There is also outside seating, though this removes you from the aforementioned ambience. But the great views and fresh breeze more than make up for it. 

The menu is simple and doesn't give you a mindboggling array of choices that will leave you scratching your head. 

Drinks

Kaema Sutra offers a range of tropical cocktails, which come in mugs that are....sourced from Africa. Apparently South-South cultural appropriation is OK? We got some wine (rather overpriced at Rs. 2,200 for a glass of Spi Valley) and the Zombie Raksha (Rs 850) which was not quite as terrifying as it sounds. It had a base of rum and fruits, with a generous dose of vanilla liquer. A little too generous in fact, it was pleasant and sweet but kept reminding us of cough syrup.

Food

*All prices without service charge and taxes*

There's a range of 'Sri Lankan tapas' to choose from as a starter. We chose the Rotti Pizza with 'Baby Jackfruit' (Rs. 600) a.k.a polos. The polos was cooked just right, and the gravy is just juicy enough to complement the rotti dough without being too drippy. As an overall experiment though, this pizza didn't end up impressing us too much. It was basically like eating polos curry with rotti, which is not something you would usually do anyway.

The Black Hopper (Rs. 500) is basically a hopper made from batter doused in squid ink. It comes with soft buffalo curd, sprinkled with salt crystals, and olive oil on the side. It had the potential to be excellent, but ended up being only good because it was served a little cold. The squid ink adds a flavor that is nicely complemented by the whipped curd, which has a consistency slighly more substantial than whipped cream. Excellent for digging into with a peice of hopper.

The plain hopper (Rs. 250) was just a regular hopper with a small side of lunumiris. It is a little bigger than the kadey variety though. 

The Australian Mutton Curry (Rs. 1100) wasn't spectacular, but wasn't terrible either. I think the word I'm looking for here is 'average'.

The crab stringhopper kottu (Rs 600) however, shined like a beacon of brilliance in an otherwise not too thrilling night (except for the dessert but we'll get to that later).  The crab meat blended in seamlessly with the texture of the stringhoppers, and the gravy was soft and peppery, but not too spicy.

Dessert

We capped off the evening with What the Hopper (Rs. 600), their signature dessert. It's a crunchy pani aappa (treacle hopper) with a generous helping of whipped curd (I must say that this is a hit), chopped strawberry (very fresh) and treacle, lots and lots of oozing, sweet treacle. After we were done I used my finger to lick the plate. We gave this a six out of five.

Service

The staff were extremely friendly, welcoming and conversational. They felt like great company. Sadly though, a lot of our food and drinks were delivered late, with some dishes actually sent to the table cold. This was very strange because we didn't go there on a busy night, so it can't have been that difficult to get this right. Unless delivering food to the table on 'Sri Lankan time' is a part of the service proposition here.

Conclusion

The menu at Kaema Sutra is largely blanded down to better accomodate palettes not too fond of spice, and might be for you if you're not a hardcore spice fanatic and want to appreciate the texture and flavor of Sri Lankan food without the orgasmic quantities of spices it usually comes drowned in.

Given, the dearth in options for gourmet Sri Lankan eats in the city, suited for varying palettes, I'd say it's still a good option if you're new to town, want to try some relatively authentic Sri Lankan fare, and have the disposable income to match. 


TIP

Try their signature dessert 'What the Hopper'. It had us licking the plate.

Address

Shangri-La Hotel, 1 Galle Face, Colombo 2

Directions

Take the lift upto the 4th floor of the Shangri La Hotel, pass through the manicured lawn and you're there.

Contacts

Facebook Website

Report Inaccuracy

Open until 03:00 PM

Cuisine

Sri Lankan

Dish Types

Kottu Rice And Curry

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
3
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
2
Ambience Rating
5
User Reviews
J

5/5

0

Joshua Perera

Simply loved the new place at Shangri-la. For me prices matched up to the both food and services they provided. Lovely surrounding with some live music and a friendly staff. Food was served very quick. LOVED MY MOHITO AND THE STARTER AND MY KOTTU AND OF COURSE THE HOPPERS. 💕👌😌. I simply enjoyed alot.

T

3/5

0

The trippin' Forks

I do not agree with the prices as it's a bit too steep. But the food is great and they have some unique ones too. I tried the black hopper that's curated using squid ink. It was sprinkled with salt and was served with buffalo curd. It was a nice new taste. I loved it.

M

1/5

0

Miley93

Prices and food have no relation and the service as useful as bananas in a chili paste

J

5/5

0

Joshua Perera

Simply loved the new place at Shangri-la. For me prices matched up to the both food and services they provided. Lovely surrounding with some live music and a friendly staff. Food was served very quick. LOVED MY MOHITO AND THE STARTER AND MY KOTTU AND OF COURSE THE HOPPERS. 💕👌😌. I simply enjoyed alot.

T

3/5

0

The trippin' Forks

I do not agree with the prices as it's a bit too steep. But the food is great and they have some unique ones too. I tried the black hopper that's curated using squid ink. It was sprinkled with salt and was served with buffalo curd. It was a nice new taste. I loved it.

M

1/5

0

Miley93

Prices and food have no relation and the service as useful as bananas in a chili paste

G

3/5

0

GreaseYaka

While Kaema Sutra is too bloody expensive for words, like YAMU says this need not be where you always have your dinner. Those with stingy wallets can go to Pillawoos to have their Rs.20 hopper (and have an indigestion the next day). Kaema Sutra lived up to the hype of what I expected somewhat authentic Sri Lankan cuisine at a fine dining restaurant. And our bill amounted to around Rs.11,000 for 7 people and we ate like refined pigs :) But this place only deserves 3-Stars. But like others I too noticed that YAMU tends to rate Dharshan's restaurants always in the higher ranges.

A

1/5

0

AmrRiz

Inflation in FOOD = Kaema Sutra

P

1/5

0

PrabathS

Dharshan you disappointed me :(

I will start with the plus points… Excellent service and very friendly staff. In one of the top places in the country for a restaurant - even the best place in the Independence Arcade. Overall price is not as high as the hype - per head around 1300/=. Good lime juice.

Went there for dinner with great expectations - even after reading the Yamu review. But - its way below my expectations - food is never closer to authentic Sri Lankan food. Not spicy at all. Hoppers are very average - there are so many places out there that make better hoppers. Kaju curry and Dhal curry are worst - no salt at all. Not many options for vegetarians - and only two options for desserts. Spoke to one of their staff - and he said its the menu by Dharshan and they are not allowed to change a bit and also accepted food is not spicy enough even for them. I thought Dharshan is a great chef - but now - I am sorry he is an average cook for me… Overall very disappointing experience after seeing so much of hype around this. Not recommended.

B

4/5

0

Bear

What was your total bill? after all the ++++?? Planning on going so i'd like to know that b4.

R

1/5

0

ranukam

This is all Bull. Please tell me WHAT qualifications have the kids at YAMU got to 'review' food in the first place? Are they all connoisseurs?? Are they all celebrity chefs?? Have they got ANY experience in the field? YAMU was originally someone's BLOG of opinions which suddenly became the KNOW IT ALL of all cuisine and leisure in SL! The Chicken in the picture is OBVIOUSLY undercooked. I am a culinary student myself and I could do better than whats is seen. YAMU started off as an amateur blog about places and food in Colombo - a few NON CULINARY opinions. But today its a commercial venture which looks to turn a profit. Therefore, ANYONE can pay for an 'expert review'. And those who pay will definitely get raving reviews regardless of the reality. I blame the people who read this biased nonsense and believe it. Most of these restaurants have been approached by YAMU staff for advertising on their site and magazine. FACT. Its a farce that sadly, most of us have fallen for.

A

1/5

0

AkhilaGoonetilleke

Actually the picture that says "this is how the chicken should be cooked" has a picture of undercooked chicken… You cannot serve pink chicken and say it is perfectly cooked. Please refer to proper sources on standards and verify what a supposed chef may say to convince you.

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